When will Lesotho break the pattern it is in? This is a question I have been trying to answer for myself for several days now.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Some people have argued that ntate Tom has brought us to this current moment of instability that we are in. This, I don’t completely dispute, given that ntate Tom has practically been in senior government leadership positions of almost all governments since the 80s— including the period where I could have been forgiven for thinking “Lebua ke mmuso ngoanaka!” was Lesotho’s national anthem.
So, as I said, I cannot dispute that ntate Tom is partially to blame for recent events, at the very least, for perpetuating the use of legal instruments to pursue political agendas. But, lest we forget, the one person who truly helped normalise this use was ntate Ntsu in the very act of “ba furalleng“, when he basically established a new ruling party (LCD) in parliament: to rule through application of legal mechanisms not based on anyone having literally put a cross against its name.
The moral question was secondary to ntate Ntsu. He concerned himself mostly with the legal question(s). For him, once he had decided to turn his back on his own sisters and brothers, he swiftly moved on and extended an invitation for everyone to do the same–“le ba furalleng, ‘na ke se ke ba furalletse”! To be sure, I am suggesting that it didn’t take him long to forget that he had implored us “ho hata mmoho“: to take synchronised steps towards peace and prosperity because together we can!
Personally, I think that swift change in positions characterises the moral flexibility of our political leaders … too flexible for notions of negotiating in good faith to work. Thus making it easy to rely on legal instruments/mechanisms because the question of bending the law is mute as long as one doesn’t break it.
By the above albeit warped logic, Ntate Tom wasn’t breaking the law when he prorogated the Parliament; he was acting out of an existing script, which he was also party to crafting with ntate Ntsu and many others. To blame him exclusively is unfair, especially if all he is doing is to bind his peers to this very liberal code of bending and never breaking the law.
As it stands, even as I pen this view, I don’t know what qualifies as the truth in Lesotho. All I know is that a vulture is almost always to blame. And at times, it may indeed be the “bearded vulture”, which, should we dare to blame, we can but find solace in the idiom, “lebitso lebe ke seromo“.
Can we do away with the carcass called power, in order to do away with all the vultures including the patiently waiting ones like the Guptas? This is a question-cum-prayer for me and perhaps many other Basotho.